Dear Miss Cote de Texas: Flatscreen Issues

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Lady with Her Maidservant Holding a Letter, c. 1667
Oil on canvas, 89,5 x 78,1 cm. Frick Collection, New York

Half the fun of the Dear Miss Cote de Texas series is finding the art work to go with it.   This choice is by Jan Vermeer and was painted in 1667. 
“The mistress' expression reveals the uncertainties of love that disrupt the serenity of ordered existence. The mistress' controlled demeanor and fashionable wardrobe seems to suggest that such fleeting doubts affect even those who are most secure and content in their lives. The maid, while offering the letter, responds to her mistress' gaze with a caring yet concerned look. With her slightly opened mouth and lowered eyelids, her expression is as restrained as her mistress', yet Vermeer created a visual dialogue between them that conveys the intense psychological impact of the letter's arrival."
Here, the maid interrupts her writing and hands her a letter.  Her hand on her chin represents surprise.  This same yellow jacket with the ermine border is also seen in the painting ‘Lady Writing a Letter.’   To read more about this beautiful painting, go HERE.

Today’s reader writes with questions about her issues with her flatscreen TV.   I picked this topic because it is such a universal problem.  Who doesn’t have at least one TV in their house?  For years and years the TV presented great problems for the interior designer.   As TVs got bigger and deeper – the space required to hold these monsters grew along with the screen size.  Most everyone either had or wanted a TV cabinet – that huge brown piece of furniture which held the TV balanced in between countless shelves and drawers.   Most were hideous – creating a large eyesore in the middle of a beautiful family room or bedroom.  If you didn’t have a TV Cabinet, then you had a faux antique armoire.  The problem with having an antique armoire was they had to be deep enough to hold these TVs and the antiques  rarely were equipped for that depth or weight.  When flatscreens came out, designers everywhere rejoiced.  Finally, there was an end to those fugly TV cabinets!  No longer were we concerned with a TV whose depth could measure 36” – we could now hang these flatscreens anywhere!  It was so liberating.   But, as with all things, eventually when the rejoicing died down, the issues with flatscreens became evident. 

Remember these?  Uggg!!!!! 
Yes, you can hang flatscreens anywhere, but you still have cable boxes and DVD players to contend with.  So, while the flatscreen is hanging – you have to find space for the electronics somewhere nearby.  Wires were another issue.  If you hung the flatscreen on the wall, the wires that connected to the electronics were visible.  For that, you needed to hire an electrician to come and hide the wires inside the wall.   And while the huge TV cabinets became passé – suddenly masses of smaller consoles were being made to sit under the flatscreen to hold the electronics and to ground that huge black hole hanging off the wall.



Flatscreen TV consoles can be just as ugly as the old TV cabinets.  This one is a faux Stickley version, which for some unknown reason is quite popular.  At least these cabinets can be quite narrow – depth is no longer an issue. 
While many choose to hang the TV on the wall, others opt to put it over the fireplace mantel.  It’s a solution of course – most flatscreens fit perfectly over mantels.  But, it’s not my favorite solution.  First, there is the issue of neck pain.  TVs should be at eye level – otherwise you have to crank your neck up to watch it.  And then there is the aesthetic issue.  If the TV is on the mantel,  you lose the valuable space to place a beautiful mirror or piece of art.  You have no place to create a mantelscape – it’s such a waste of valuable design real estate.  I try to avoid putting flatscreens on mantels at all costs. 



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For instance, in this family room I just finished, the flatscreen was over the mantel.  It took a while to convince the husband that it would be much better if it was moved.  I’m not sure he is still convinced, but it looks so much without that big black box hanging down over the room.  We did have to go through a few steps that added to the costs, but they weren’t that much.  First, we had to hire a carpenter to finish out the molding over the  mantel and close up the big hole that was left after the flatscreen was moved. 

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Next, we bought a console to go under it.  This console is less than 12” deep and it holds all the electronics.   We bought the console at Nadeu in the Rice Village,  so it hardly cost anything.    We had an electrician install the TV here and hide the wires in the wall.  Viola.  Now, we could move the sofa from the middle of the room.  We put swivels on the two chairs to make watching it easier.  Lo and behold, the most expensive cost was the NEW flatscreen that hubby wanted if we were going to all this trouble.  Naturally!  Men and their toys!
(I have someone I use in Houston that comes to the house and installs the TV and sells them and does it all – if you are interested, I’ll leave his name and number in the comment section.)



My own family room has a similar layout.  My client had seen my room arraimagengement and wanted her couch against the windows too  - which is what started the entire process in her own family room.  I would hate having a TV over my mantel!   Again, I would have to float my sofa which would close off the room and then we would have to crank our necks up.  Plus, I love what I have on my mantel!


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Instead, I have the flatscreen hang over the hole that once held our old, regular large TV.  The cabinet underneath holds the electronics.  Now, the TV is not the focal point of the room.  You don’t even see it until you are completely inside the room. 

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For this client, we had the same issue as with the first client – the TV was over the fireplace.  Here we had a carpenter rework the bottom two shelves to hold the new flatscreen.  I placed a club chair and ottoman directly in front of the TV for the husband to sit and enjoy his sports, but the flatscreen does swivel to the right so the entire room can watch it too.   Again, the TV is not quite the focal point it would be if it was still over the mantel.

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For this client, Ginger Barber did the same thing – she chose to place the flatscreen on one side of the shelves.  There is NO way Ginger would put a TV over that gorgeous antique mantle!!!!  Again, here the TV is not a focal point – while the mantel is.


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Munger Interiors hid the TV in the closed cabinets – but notice how they softened the look – a row of shelves were added to display accessories! 

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One point to consider.   If you do place the TV on the shelves, you lose valuable decorating real estate space.  But, notice how beautifully Munger Interiors decorated these painted shelves.  For this reason, hanging the TV over the mantel seems to balance the shelves and it works in this instance.  Confusing?  I know!   But, here, the TV does look better where it is, with the shelves so decorated and such a part of the color scheme.


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You can always just hide the TV like Sally Wheat did.  Sally bought these beautiful old shutters and had James Farmer paint them.  Her TV is hiding behind the set on the left (I think!)


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At the Pink Ribbon House this year, Julia Blailock designed this set of doors to hide the flatscreen behind and Segreto did the finishing paint job.  I think these are beautiful and a great solution – the doors become part of the décor.


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There are still armoires that can hide flatscreens – the antique ones are much better equipped to house the flatscreens over the old, heavier TVs.  This house in Houston placed a large antique armoire in the family room and centered it between a set of herbiers. 



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Or, you can do what Carol Glasser did – hide the flatscreen behind a pair of installed antique armoire doors.  This way you save precious floor space if the doors are attached to the wall.  Ingenious!



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In this family room,  Tami Owen had a shelving unit built in to hold a HUGE flatscreen.  She cut out doors and added fabric for the electronics and speakers.  Plus, the fabric softens the piece.   With a TV this huge, you need something substantial to ground it.


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Interior designer Jenny Johnston bought an antique buffet to place under this flatscreen.  The doors have screens that let the clicker reach the electronics.  Some clickers can go work through solid doors though so this isn’t always necessary. 


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This designer put the flatscreen on her shelves.  It’s barely noticeable, but it is a smaller TV.


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At her vacation home, Cindy Hattersley installed a small flatscreen over the mantel, but notice how low the TV is – it’s not such a strain to the neck.   And notice how pretty her green painted shelves are – she didn’t want to ruin the look with the flatscreen.   This California house is available for vacation rentals!  Just ask Cindy about it!


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Even big name designers like Bunny Williams have to deal with flatscreens.  Usually you won’t see TVs in magazines like AD or Elle Décor.  The photographer will take the picture showing the other view.  This photo showing a TV is a rarity.  Notice how the flatscreen is angled down – this prevents some of the neck strain.   The client probably requested the flatscreen be placed here.  Some people just prefer this arrangement. 

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In this beautiful Houston house, the flatscreen goes on the side wall – above an antique buffet.  Again, this allows the sofa to be against the window instead of floating in the middle of the room.  And it preserves the pretty stone fireplace.  You almost don’t even see the TV where it is placed.


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In this contemporary white room with black accents – the TV becomes a piece of art work.   Strange I know, but it really seems like it is just another print hanging on the wall!  It truly disappears for some reason!

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I love this room!  It’s the house of a friend of blogger Classic Casual Home.  Again, the owner chose to put the flatscreen over the mantel so that she could decorate the shelves.   I love the way she decorated them too – leaving breathing room around the accessories so that they can show off.  And I love the library lights above the shelves.    Notice those gorgeous bobbin chairs!  I just ordered two for a client and can’t wait until they come in!  This room is so cozy and warm and inviting.  Exactly what good interior design should be!

So…let’s get to our reader’s TV problem, ok ?  Here is her family room with her large TV: 

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Our reader, Libby, has a beautiful stone fireplace and pretty cabinets that flank it.  But, their new, huge flatscreen is the issue.  Here’s what she has to say:
Dear Miss Cote de Texas:
I have a question that's not about windows!   I have a troublesome wall in my family room. I'd love to re-do my built-ins and mantle. The built ins fit a 29" TV - ha! They are also quite deep, over 2 feet deep. The current cabinets on both sides with smaller (shorter) cabinets on the bottom halves and open shelves on the top halves. We'd hang the giant TV in front of the left side cabinets, at about the height it is now (removing the dresser that currently holds it, of course)! But how do we handle the electronics? We need to be able to access our DVR and Blu-Ray player and use our remotes! And how do we handle the depth? I think two feet is too deep for open shelves, don't you? Should I take them all the way up to the ceiling or leave it open? And as long as we're replacing the built-ins, shouldn't we replace that mantle as well? I love the designer chicken wire look for the cabinet doors  but will that age well? The trim paint is aged ivory all over the house - could I do something different with these or am I locked in? If I can do something different, how do I handle the transition?
This is actually quite a small room for a main family room - 14 x 17. It doesn't have any exterior windows and therefore tends to be dark. As  The exterior of our home is stone as well - Texas Hill Country style. Please don't suggest we cover the stone!
As you can see, I'm still in the "yellow wall" phase (Concord Ivory, to be exact - fifth house I've painted this color - two in Atlanta and two in Sugar Land - but the light is different here in Alamo Heights - it looks almost yucky green in dark corners) and my hubby won the TV size argument and selected the upholstered pieces (how did that happen?). Blue couch has been a disappointment (sloppy and faded) but we need to keep it for a while. Leather chairs (one of which is a recliner) have been fantastic with our dogs. Am ready to replace the rug with seagrass (will that really be ok with my big dogs?).
I love your blog and would just DIE for personalized advice. I can handle the comments, anonymous and otherwise.
Please help!! 
LIBBY

First off – I would suggest that yes, I would tear out the upper cabinets.  Since the room is small and doesn’t have much else going on, the open shelving could be a good place for decorative objects, such as books and accessories.   And yes, 2 ft  is way too deep for shelves.   The bottom cabinets should be 2’ deep, but the shelves should be only 12'’ deep.  The TV will rest on top of the bottom cabinet and the shelves will be above it on that side.   Be sure to run the shelves all the way up to the ceiling to balance out the size of the flatscreen.   When  choosing decorative items for the shelves – try to stay in the same color range.  Such as,  look for white ironstone to display along with dark, brown books.  Or buy blue and white porcelains to display.   This will help your shelves become part of the décor.   Your mantel is fine – I wouldn’t put my money in a new mantel.   It seems proportionate for your fireplace.  And I would never suggest you replace your Texas limestone fireplace!!  I love it – plus, it adds charm to the room and warmth.  Keep it.
As for the electronics, they would go in the cabinets right beneath the TV.  Most clickers can penetrate through cabinet doors, but if not – then you could take the middle portion of the doors out and add the chicken wire – then put a gathered, neutral fabric, like linen, behind it.   Again, this could add some needed charm to the room.
As for the color of the shelves and cabinets – you could definitely keep the same trim color, which would be ideal.  But, you could paint the back of the shelves a deeper shade than is on your walls.  This will make the shelves pop and is an easy, inexpensive way to add a little pizzazz to the room!  You don’t sound as if you plan to repaint your walls, so a deeper shade of the same color would be my first color choice. 
As for the seating arrangement – if the room is really that small, have you ever thought of having just four chairs with an ottoman in the middle?  It’s hard for me to see if this would be feasible, but if so, maybe consider it.   You could use your two leather chairs and mix in two white slipcovered ones.   OR, think about getting the white slipcovered sofa from Ikea (it’s under $400) and mix it with the two leather chairs. Slipcovers are a dog’s best friend.   And yes, I think seagrass would be fabulous in your room – especially if you do white or khaki slipcovers one day!   Perhaps you could move that console piece to the wall behind the sofa or on the wall next to the door – put two tall lamps on it.  I would then move the family portrait over there  – and put a round, wood or rattan framed mirror on the fireplace.  Consider buying or sewing slipped skirts for the two French chairs – they would hide the AC vent better! 
Several of the pictures above will be helpful to you, this one in particular:

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For instance, this photo shows you how the shelves will look going up to the ceiling.  You can see how the TV will look on  top of the bottom cabinet.  And notice, the doors are solid.   No chicken wire was needed.  You can buy clickers that penetrate through the doors.

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Painted bookshelves really make the room pop!

This blogger Westhampton DIY HERE redid her family room  - she painted the back of her shelves and notice how she got a great look on her shelves by covering her books with paper!   Easy and inexpensive.  Really pretty!

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And one more look at this room,  your cabinets with painted shelves can look like this – and notice how the accessories are in the same color family.  They make quite a decorative impact themselves!
I hope this helps you and helps anyone else who is having flatscreen issues!   If you still have a décor question – you know what to do – Ask Miss Cote de Texas:
Write me at:  mrballbox329@aol.com

Bobby McAlpine Comes Here!

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Bobby McAlpine, award winning, renowned architect, is one of my all time favorites.  I think I love everything this man does, whether it’s designing a custom house, renovating an existing structure or just doing interior design - he is a unique talent, a true genius, and someone who was blessed to be born with great taste.  Nothing he touches isn’t fabulous.  His work is awe inspiring and jaw dropping.   Even since he started popping up in Veranda years ago, I’ve been crazy for his aesthetic.  He creates magic when he designs – his ceiling heights create rooms within rooms which he then will separate with just screens or doors that become moving walls, he mixes textures both rough and shiny to create an energy, he places fine antiques next to contemporary furniture, his rooflines are works of art –  put together, his houses are fabulous and totally original.   They are temples, places to worship the architecture not just to live in.  Dramatic and overblown?  Not really.  He is  truly that special of a man.   And I don’t use the term genius lightly,  I was subjected to his mind for one hour when he visited the Skirted Round Table.  The three of us were stunned into silence, barely able to keep up his with the stream of consciousness he spewed.  When the hour was over, we were shell shocked, and not feeling particularly very smart!

I’m sure you have a favorite McAlpine Tankersley design, that one house whose dog-earred clippings you’ve kept all these years.     I have several choices, but my all time favorite will probably always be the house McAlpine designed for himself,  years ago, in Birmingham:

 

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That roofline, those windows, the two small rooms that jut out, the stone fence and wooden gates  - was there ever a prettier or more romantic house?   I wrote an extensive story on this house HERE.

 

I don’t know if McAlpine’s company has designed any houses before here in Houston, but this year McAlpine did design a house which was open to the public to benefit Habitat for Humanity in The Woodlands, a suburb north of town.   You might have visited the house or seen it on another blog, but I recently saw the virtual tour of the house and wanted to share the beautiful pictures of this very special house.  In truth, I wanted to immerse myself in the house and study it for hours – so what better excuse to do it but for the blog?    The interiors were designed by another personal favorite Bellacasa from Houston.  I found it interesting that Bellacasa was chosen to team up with Bobby because I’ve always felt they were influenced by his own interiors.  Looking at the pictures, I almost forgot that Bobby didn’t design them himself instead of Bellacasa, which to me is the ultimate compliment.

So, enjoy the pictures!  If you have seen the house before, take a second look today.  I think it’s worth it.

 

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The house sits on a corner right across from the lake in The Woodlands.  It’s obvious it’s a McAlpine house – the roofline, the symmetry, the bay windows give its creator away. 

 

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The sweeping lake view – right outside the front windows of the house.

 

 

 

 

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The front side of the house is perfectly symmetrical with the two fireplaces and porches on each side of the large bay window.  Beautiful and classic details such as the slate roofline, copper gutters, the brick and iron gate, and black trimmed windows – all set the house apart. The house has 6 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half baths with 4 woodburning fireplaces!  That’s one detail I love – 4 fireplaces.  Wow.  It’s a total 8400 sq. ft.    The front door is through the open porch on the left of the main bay of windows.    The living room is at the front where the large bank of windows are.

 

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The house is on a corner, with lake views. Here is a view of the right side with its screened in porch.  Notice the way the beams are designed on the right side - they actually look like tied-back curtains.

 

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Walking past the screened porch – is this view of the right side of the house.   To the  left – the high bank of windows is where the main staircase in the house is located. 

 

 

 

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This view shows the other, the left, side of the house – that faces the street.  This is a view of the landscaping, with its English garden look and gravel pathways.

 

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And another look at the left side of the house, shows the shutters on the smaller windows.  At the very left is one of the two garages, with a bedroom above it.  The half brick wall creates a grass terrace off the side entrance.

 

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The design of the entire house is symmetrical.  It’s in an elongated U-shape around a large, long central courtyard.  This side of the courtyard shows the French doors that lead into the living room that faces the front of the house and the lake.

 

 

 

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The opposite side of the courtyard ends at the rear of the house – with the swimming pool.  Each side of the two wings are symmetrical – as seen here on the left and the right.  The two garages flank the swimming pool (there are two 2 car garages on each end of the back of the house) To the left is one garage and to the right is the other garage.  Each has a bedroom over it.

 

 

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To understand how symmetrical this design really is - here you can see the left side of the swimming pool, with its small porch.  The door leads to the left side garage.   This side is identical to:

 

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identical to the right side of the pool with its small covered porch.   Through this door is the right side garage.   Notice how the interior windows have the charming wood shutters.

 

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I love the way Bellcasa designed this area – that urn on the pedestal is so beautiful!   The dining area of the courtyard is covered and sits directly in between the garden area and the swimming pool.   The left side of the dining area is identical to the….

 

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identical to the right side of the covered dining area.  The courtyard has the same stone flooring as is in the interior of the house – creating the inside/outside feel of the courtyard.  Notice too, that that the columns are cut in the same “curtain” design as the ones on both the front and screened in porches.   The chairs are a mix of Kooboo wicker, white slipcovered and old French park chairs.  The table is a large, Belgian styled rough luxe model.  Love this setting!!!

 

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Here is a close up of the courtyard.  The three French doors lead into the living room.   The windows to the right are the kitchen and the windows to the left are the family room.   So pretty!

 

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The slipped chair used in the courtyard is from McAlpine’s Lee Industry line HERE.  Several pieces from McAlpine’s furniture line were used in the house. 

 

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EEEK,  what is this?  Unfortunately, there is no picture of the back of the house and as you can, on Google Maps, the house was still under construction when this picture was taken.  But I need to show it so you can fully understand the floor plan.  Here you can see the garages – there are two 2 car garages – one on each wing of the U shape.  The blank spot in the middle is where the swimming pool will go.  Past that, you can see the covered porch area through the courtyard to the living room!  You can really see the U shape of the house from this back view.  There is no “back yard” – instead there are the two side yards and the courtyard in the middle. 

 

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And this view shows the house during construction, looking down.  The front is on the left side overlooking the lake.  You can plainly see the U shape of the house.  In the middle is the courtyard, with the roof over the dining area in the center.  Past it is the open area towards back where the swimming pool will be built – between the two garages.  Understand?  I hope so!  I wish there was a floor plan!!!

 

Ready to go inside?

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Entering through the front porch on the left, you come through the door into the great room – this is the room that overlooks the lake on one end, and the courtyard, at the other.  As is the house – the room is symmetrical.  There are two fireplaces – with seating areas on each side of the room and a huge table in between.  Here is the seating area on the left side.   This room serves as the main living area AND dining area.   Through the brick arch on the right is the kitchen.

 

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A look at the entire room – with the two seating areas and the dining table in between.  At the far right is the bay window overlooking the lake with its own seating area. Hanging over the table is a large, double row iron chandelier. 

 

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A larger view of the left side seating area with the fireplace.  A set of herbiers hang together to make up one large piece of art while a round gilt mirror hangs over the fireplace.  The two shelter arm sofas face each with two tall French styled chairs in between.  Behind each sofa is a long desk.  This one looks like an antique piece.   To the left of the fireplace is a tall double screen.  There’s another one on the other side of the room.  McAlpine loves screens and uses them to divide rooms and also to create vignettes. 

 

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In this view of the left seating group – you can see the sofas are tufted.   A bricklayer’s style coffee table sits atop a dark rug.   Velvet pillows are in shades of deep and light lavender – a color that Bellacasa uses throughout the house. 

 

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This view shows the right side of the room, along with the center table.  Two wicker chairs, two accent chairs, and two benches surround the table.   This mixture of chairs and benches around the table is a look that McAlpine frequently uses. 

 

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This view shows the central table and the window that overlooks the lake.  Notice how the unlined linen curtains are hung outside of the alcove, making that seating area more cozy and closed off.  That is another trademark look of Bobby’s that Bellacasa used here in homage to him.  To the left of the table is the second seating area.

 

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The right side of the room – shows the identical fireplace with its matching set of herbiers and mirror.  The seating arrangement is different though, with one sofa and two arms chairs and an accent chair. To the left is the main staircase.  Beautiful wood accent chair.  The two arm chairs are covered in the lightest of lavender.

 

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Another view of this seating arrangement.  Love the back vignette and the two antique stools that surround the coffee table. The two brown rugs anchor the light covered furniture and play against the lavender.

 

 

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Looking from the right seating area over the dining area to the left seating area.  My favorite part of the room is the bay window seating area, behind the sheer curtains.  The chairs on this side are the light lavender as are the accent pillows in the bay window. 

 

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The bay window seating group has a long white sofa with a velvet ottoman used for a coffee table.  Sisal rug sits underfoot.  To the right you can just barely see the wood accent chair that makes up the rest of this grouping.

 

 

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Opposite the front bay window overlooking the lake – are these three French doors that lead out to the courtyard and swimming pool.  Outside, under the roof – you can see the eating area shown before.

 

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Another view of the 3 doors leading to the courtyard.  Two slipped ottomans surround the concrete table, along with a wing chair.  Again this arrangement is so Bobby!   The staircase is in the back.   Walls of brick with arches lead to other parts of the house.  I love how Bellacasa chose to use so many design elements that Bobby is know for!  It makes the interiors perfectly coordinate with the design of house!!!

 

 

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And a closer view of the doors leading to the courtyard.  Love the chair and concrete table.

 

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I love how McAlpine designed the stairs – they are double width on the first section – creating a grand look.  Past the landing, the width becomes single – which you can see on the upper right.  Notice the horizontal paneled walls. 

 

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A view from the upper stairs – the window bay overlooks the right side of the house.

 

 

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To the right of the stairs is the screen in porch, furnished in a Kooboo wicker sectional and an organic styled chair.  Touches of the accent color lavender are brought out here from the living room to the porch.  The porch is softened with sheer curtains that match those found in the living room.

 

 

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To reach the kitchen  - you pass through this brick arch near the front door of the living room. 

 

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Walking from dthe living room (you can see it through the arch), past the double brick arches is the kitchen and breakfast room.  A small seating area sits in the bay window that overlooks the courtyard.  I love this vignette with the organic table, large contemporary chair mixed with an antique and a brass floor lamp.  Hanging behind is a tiny painting.   Wide planked wood floors run through this part of the house.  The countertops are concrete.  

 

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A larger view – shows the stove which sits alone under its wood hood.  A large island is in the center of the room.  The dark gray wood door leads to the pantry.  Notice how the ceiling is the same as the ceiling in the living room – these details, repeated throughout, gives the house continuity. 

 

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This view shows the rest of the kitchen.  The breakfast room overlooks the left side of the house – the street side.  Two gorgeous lanterns light up this space.  To the right is a gray painted cabinet.   I love the way the stove is set alone in the space under its large hood.  And notice how all the bay windows (two in this room alone) –bring a design continuity to the house.  It’s all so balanced and symmetrical – which gives you a wonderful grounded feeling. 

 

 

 

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Here, you can see the butler’s pantry on the right through a sliding door.  NOW, where is the refrigerator?   Is is hidden in that gray cabinet?  Is it in the butler’s pantry?  Is it underneath the island – inside those cabinets?    Where?

 

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Actually, the large refrigerator and freezer are located in the butler’s pantry, behind the sliding door.  In this view – you can see past the pantry into another room that leads out to the porch, then the garage.  This room wasn’t on the tour, but I assume it’s either the game room or the “extra room.”  Since there is no floor plan, I am just guessing here.   If you toured the house – let me know which this is!

 

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The breakfast area continues with the symmetrical feel – with a long banquette on one side of the brick layers styled table – along with three slipped chairs and two accent host chairs.  Two tall contemporary lamps flank the setting – while a large painting hangs over the windows.  So pretty!!!

 

 

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Another picture on a sunnier day.

 

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And, the view of the sink and dishwasher – overlooking the sitting area into the courtyard.  You can see through the courtyard into the room on the other side of it.   Brick arches on both side of the kitchen provide the symmetry. 

 

 

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Now, if we go back to the living room – on the other side of the U – past the brick arches, we enter the den:

 

 

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The den has a huge slipcovered sectional perfect for TV watching.  The pillows are, again, an assortment of shades of lavender and purple.  The horizontal paneled walls are painted dark gray, which offsets the white perfectly.  This is the only picture of this room.  It overlooks the right side of the house.  And on the other side, it looks onto the courtyard.    Now, since there is no floor plan, there is a little confusion.  On the HAR web site, there is a dining room included in its inventory.  I have no idea if this room is supposed to be the formal dining room – or is the room next to it?   Bellacasa designed the living room to include the dining room, so perhaps this room is meant to be a dining room if the owners choose so?   If you toured the house – let me know, ok?  I am really curious!! 

 

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I did find this one picture of this room that wasn’t on the virtual tour, it might be the room next to the family room pictured above.  More lavender pillows, a Moroccan rug, and a series of photographs were used here.  I wonder what other rooms are missing from the tour?

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And this small picture shows the hallway leading from the family room to the porch that goes to the garage.  Notice the molding around the door – especially the top of the doors – such a great detail. 

 

Ready to go upstairs?

 

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Coming off the main stairs – you reach this hallway, which overlooks the courtyard.  The master suite is at the other end of this hall.  Notice the antique barometer that hangs here.

 

 

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And looking the other direction, towards the stairs.  I love the way Bellacasa decorated the house with a mixture of antique wood tables and chairs throughout  - such as this console.  And in the stairhall landing, notice the sculpture that sits on the pedestal.  This would be a great place to read on a rainy day!!                                               

 

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Here’s a view of the antique console with a lamp, sculpture, books, print and painting.  Two slipped stools flank the console.   

 

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The master bedroom is located right over the kitchen – which is to the very left of this picture.  The bank of windows in the front of the house hold the “boys bathroom."

 

 

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The master bedroom suite is divided into two areas.  The sitting area is slightly smaller.  This window overlooks the courtyard.  Bellacasa used an antique sofa here, along with a new desk.  The stool is in the soft lavender color.  A seagrass patterned rug sits underfoot.  Soft linen unlined curtains divides the bedroom from the sitting area – seen here at the left and right of the photograph.  Matching fixtures hang in both areas.

 

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The bedroom – is furnished with furniture from Bobby McAlpine’s line for MacRae.    In the corner are his famous screens that he uses in his designs.    Two arm chairs sit in front of the bed. 

 

 

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Close up of the bed with the lavender accent pillows and throw.  Mirror tray cocktail table.  The bed fits the space under the dormer perfectly!

 

 

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A large antique mirror reflects the sitting area.

 

 

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This picture shows the chairs sitting on a white Flokati rug.

 

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McAlpine bed used  here – from MacRae 

 

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Similar to this McAlpine chair used here from Lee Industries.

 

 

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The boys bathroom overlooking the lake.  Love the mirrors hanging in front of the windows.  Pretty gray cabinet with black matte granite.  Those are probably bedrooms that flank each side of the bathroom – wall to wall seagrass.  There are no other pictures of any bathrooms or bedrooms!  I want to see more!!!!!

 

 

 

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And finally, I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at the Bobby McAlpine house built in my hometown as much as I did writing it.   I had so much fun trying to figure out the floor plan just from looking at the pictures and I hope you did too!!!!   The house is for sale and if you are interested in buying it – go HERE.

 

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To order Bobby McAlpine’s beautiful book: The Home Within Us – just click on the title below: